She’s a Wildflower

WHO: Alice Shepherd

WHERE: Pop-up store at King of the Castle Café 24 Pakington Street, Geelong West

INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/shes_a_wildflower

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/shes-a-wildflower

 

Daisy: What kind of a garden do you come from?

Alice: Oh, I don’t come from any garden.

Daisy: Do you suppose she’s a wildflower?

  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

 

EVERYONE loves flowers! From pretty posies to mind-blowing floral and foliage installations, this girl has got you covered!  I first met Alice when we were looking for someone to take over our pop-up shop at King of the Castle café. She had recently headed out on her own to establish She’s a Wildflower. Like me, Alice hasn’t always lived in Geelong. She grew up on a farm in northern Victoria and moved to Melbourne to study Tourism and Business. Eventually, she moved to Geelong to study floristry and now calls the Surfcoast her home!

 

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DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A FLORIST?

No, my career began in talent management, liaising between comedians, bands, celebrities and their agents. Some of my clients include the likes of Ita Buttrose, Sir Bob Geldof and Jackie Stewart! It was an incredibly demanding job, but I really loved working on the social functions, where I got to spend time organizing the décor for each event. Things changed on my 25th birthday when a friend presented me with a hand picked posy of fresh flowers, straight from the garden, and I thought it would be so nice to do that for a living! So after some quick thinking and encouragement from my partner, I enrolled at The Gordon.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?

Not being bound to a desk! I love talking to people and really getting to know my clients. It’s rewarding to know that they have total trust in me and I have full creative reign over a job. I also love going to market and being inspired by all of the different blooms and foliage!

 

WHAT IS THE WORST PART OF YOUR JOB?

Stinky water; kale and stock water are definitely the worst offenders!

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FLOWER?

That’s like asking who is your favourite child! It changes week-by-week and season-by-season. At the moment I love flowers like sea holly, anemones, poppy pods, beehives and stock.

 

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WHAT FUN THINGS HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?

I’ve been working with the Pot & Pan Stylists, creating some amazing floral displays at their events. We had one here at King of the Castle and the next one will be at Boom Gallery in September. I’ve also been working with Little Creatures and had so much fun creating a forest in the foyer for their White Rabbit beer launch last week. I’ve also been collaborating with some stylists and photographers on photo shoots for wedding publications.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

Working with flowers is so much fun! Ultimately, I’d love to work from my studio on events, with stylists and photographers, rather than retail.

 

She’s a Wildflower is open from Monday – Friday from 7am ‘til 3pm (on Monday’s Alice uses an honesty box system; she’s got to have at least ONE rest day a week!) and Saturday – Sunday from 8am ‘til 2pm.

I’ll give you the hot tip though; Thursday is market day, so she is just bursting with spectacular blooms that will make your heart sing!

Nat x

Redox Jewellery Studio

Where:    Shop 3, The Wintergarden, 51 McKillop Street, Geelong

When:    Tues – Sat 11am – 4pm

Web: http://www.redoxjewellerystudio.com.au

Let’s face it; we all love a bit of bling!

Tucked along side the iconic Wintergarden building in McKillop Street, Redox Jewellery Studio, houses a treasure trove of contemporary jewellery and objects, by a selection of Australian emerging and established artists.

We chat to Director, Annie Broadway about her work, inspiration and the studio.

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Tell us the story behind the name Redox.

This name represents a combination of my background in Chemical Engineering and also its relevance in Jewellery making.  Redox is a chemistry term given to oxidation – reduction reactions.

How long have you been open for?

Redox Jewellery Studio opened in May 2011.

Tell us about the studio.

The ethos behind Redox Jewellery Studio is to showcase unique, high quality contemporary Jewellery and objects that have been designed and handcrafted by Jewellery artists from around Australia.

The studio currently represents 22 different jewellers – each having their own unique design perspective and style.

Another dimension to the Studio is custom designing and handcrafting one-off bespoke commissioned pieces.  This is one of the most exciting parts of being a jeweller.  Whether it be remodeling sentimental pieces or making something entirely new, it is very rewarding to see how happy clients are with their finished piece.

A unique aspect to Redox Jewellery Studio is the Jewellery making classes that are conducted in the studio’s workshop, which are available to the public and cater for all skill levels.

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With a selection of amazing artists to choose from, do you have a favourite piece in store at the moment? Tell us a little bit about it.

Selecting my favorite piece is definitely difficult as there are so many amazing pieces in the studio!

A couple of my favorite pieces at the moment are; Chris Sherwin’s trapezoid and square form wedding bands and Jill Hermans‘ work using Shibuichi.

I am very inspired by geometry and love the way Chris has handcrafted these otherwise hard shapes into soft comfortable rings.

Jill’s pieces are made from a Japanese alloy of copper and silver called Shibuichi.  Jill achieves an amazing array of colour giving her pieces both depth and beauty.

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You are a designer & metalsmith yourself; tell us about your background.

I have always had a fascination with creating objects by hand and love the satisfaction of seeing an idea transformed into a three-dimensional object.

Whilst studying Chemical Engineering at university I began making metal jewellery as a hobby, and it was from here that my passion for metal work began.  After many years of self-teaching I decided to leave my career as an engineer to pursue a career in Jewellery.  I went on to complete an Advanced Diploma in Gold and Silversmithing at NMIT, where I was awarded ‘Best Overall Student’.  I was also fortunate to win the Gold and Silversmiths Award for Excellence in Design and Craftsmanship at the Buda Australian Contemporary Silver Exhibition in 2011.

Running Redox Jewellery Studio has been both very challenging and a very satisfying experience, and I am incredibly happy that I made the career change to be able to pursue something that I am passionate about.

What inspires your work?

My work is influenced by both my background in Engineering and by my father’s artistic architectural pencil drawings.

My work is inspired by the interplay of geometric shape that is evident in urban and industrial architecture. I am fascinated by the infinite permutations that arise in geometry and I work to employ these forms into sculptural and ornamental objects.

I enjoy exploring the concept of enclosure of space by both shape and line, by using wire to construct freestanding forms. The use of wire allows me to fabricate objects that create positive and negative spaces.

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What is your favourite material to work with?

I think it depends on what I am making – when I am making pieces of Jewellery, I love working with yellow gold.  It is such an amazing material and has such warmth and vibrancy.

With my sculptural objects, I enjoy working in Sterling Silver.  Sterling silver is definitely a challenging material to work with, especially on a large scale.  Part of my love for making sculptural pieces is overcoming the difficulties involved in using silver.

Do you have a favourite technique?

Whether I am making jewellery or sculptural pieces I love the process of hand fabricating.  Starting from as near scratch as possible and creating three dimensional pieces is the most satisfying part of what I do.

panel_04Alongside Annie’s handcrafted, custom designed pieces, you will find an amazing group of artists being represented by Redox: Chris Sherwin, Justin Siow, Susan Frisch, Helen Mok, William Griffiths, Kim Victoria Wearne, Tom Malchi, Roxanne Watts, Sunggee Min, Eleanor Hawke, Kate Higgins, Carla Garro, Emily Becher, Julia deVille, Naomi Walsh, Mary Hackett, Jill Hermans, Anjila Singh, Joanna Harris MacNeil & Bree Timmins.

panel_02We think you’ll be blown away by the amount of talent showcased in this contemporary gallery, and we weren’t able to include every photo of every piece that we loved; there were just too many!   We highly recommend you visit soon!

Nat & Jen xx

Echidna

Where: Shop 1a/ 7 Gilbert Street Torquay

When: Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 3pm

Web: www.echidnahandmade.com

Nat and I spent the day exploring Torquay. The first of our finds we wish to share with you is Echidna. Tucked away in an arcade in Gilbert Street, Echidna is bursting with colour, texture and an eclectic mix of things you just won’t find anywhere else.

Echidna Torquay

The force behind Echidna is Sue Ingpen. Inspired by natural fibres, traditional handwork and contemporary trends Sue designs all of the Echidna products, from hand knitted rugs and crochet cushions to beautiful screen printed papers to hand bound journals.

Echidna started from the concept of getting original designed product made well and made ethically. Just because something is ethical it does not mean that it lacks impact. Every Echidna product is intrinsically unique, handmade by artisans, sourced locally or made by a women’s fair trade co-operative group in Nepal.  Sue heads over to work with the group twice a year to create her Spring Summer and Autumn Winter collections.

Echidna stocks beautiful ceramics, clothing, knitwear, home wears and a great selection of unique gifts, vintage items and children’s toys. Echidna also sells hand dyed yarns, books and materials for the designer/maker. Our favourites are the knee length stripe socks and patterned scarves. Not to mention the amazing throw rugs!

Don’t despair, if you are not local you can visit Echidna’s new store in Kyneton that is opening on the 7th of September at Shop 56 Piper Street, Kyneton, open Wednesday to Saturday 10-4pm  and Sunday 11-4pm.

We will be bringing you more of our Torquay finds soon. Stay tuned.

Quirk Collective

Where: Shop 85 Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: Wed – Fri 10 to 5, Sat 9 to 5 & Sun 11 to 2

Web: www.quirkcollective.net

Ph: 5229 9930

One of Oh! Hello Geelong’s biggest loves is going adventuring (of the shopping kind of course), especially when it’s to unchartered waters that we’ve never explored before! So as you can imagine we were a little excited when we received a special invitation to visit Geelongs newest design shoppe (complete with gallery space and it’s very own photography whiz) that goes by the sweet moniker Quirk Collective! Okay, so you’re probably thinking retail space, on trend designer pieces and fashion, gallery, art, photography…all under one roof? Impossible! Well not when you have Kate McLaren and Róża Marciniak, two incredibly intelligent, driven and über talented women in the driver’s seat! Together these two amazing ladies have created a unique experience and a space that G-towners will soon be calling one of their favourites!

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A melting pot…

Quirk Collective is perfectly located in Geelong West in what was once a chiropractor’s practice; not that you would ever guess given the open plan interiors and beautiful displays! The space itself was born out of Kate and Róża’s desire to take their passion for art and design to a new level; Kate is the creator of beautiful handbags and accessories under the name iz & lotte, while Róża has completed training in photography and fine art printing. The result of this collaboration is a beautiful store that supports independent makers, handmade products and items with a conscience; an intimate gallery space that will host a broad range of art and design exhibitions and a new avenue for locals to develop their photography skills and produce beautiful photographic pieces.

A splash of shopping…

The shopping side of Quirk Collective is certainly a treat for those who love unique pieces and cute and innovate design. Some of Kate’s current favourites include Monolog clothing (they have recently collaborated with polymer clay queen Emily Green, we got to see a few pieces straight from the box!), brikch’s linen range, jewellery from local brand Ernest and Joe and the range of pieces from Rachel Hine and A Piece of Cloth. Oh! Hello Geelong’s favourites include; All About Heidi shoes for tiny tots, the range of fun ottomans by Mookah (who include some Ink and Spindle fabrics – divine), Iz + Lotte range – especially the felted bead necklaces, LOVE the range of wood pieces from Snug Studio, Jessalin Screen printed Tee’s, Status Anxiety wallets, Brun Mugs and plates, Edison Light Bulb vases and the Me + Frankie wooden racks and tree houses. We also love the cute vintage tables created by Round Room Interiors, and the funny selection of cards and tea towels by Anrol Designs. Pretty much everything, really…

A dollop of art and design…

And what about this gallery we mentioned? Once you have walked through and drooled over all the lovely items in the store, take a few more steps and you will find yourself in a gorgeous gallery space with lots of wall and floor space that will be filled throughout the year with a range of exhibitions from local and visiting artists and designers! During Oh! Hello Geelong’s visit Róża’s own exhibition titled “Land of Thunder Dragon: Bhutan and Beyul” was showing, which highlighted the true “art” involved in capturing and producing beautiful photographs.

 

And a pinch of photography…

Speaking of photography, Quirk Collective has invested in a state of the art digital printer for fine art printing, which is very very exciting for local (and non-local) photographers. Róża is available by appointment to collaborate with both amateur and professionals photographers to produce the finest quality prints.

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There are hundreds of reasons to visit Quirk Collective but for Oh! Hello Geelong the best reason to visit is to experience a new way of enjoying art and design. Thanks Kate and Róża for giving us a tour of your wonderful world and sharing a little philosophy along the way!

PS: if you are like most people and have a digital camera that you want to get the most out of, make sure to get in touch with the girls at Quirk Collective, who will be running introductory camera courses in March/April 2013! They will also be running advanced courses and Photoshop classes too!

PPS: If you are an artist or designer and you are looking for a space to exhibit your work, give Róża a call, she’s happy to help!

 

Love Penny + Laura